July 11, 2007

Top 5 Remainder Ideas

I’m off to the Galapagos Islands, so I won’t be posting anything or replying to e-mails for the next two weeks. Try not to make a mess of the place while I’m gone. Hopefully the Spambots won’t take over.

To give you something to talk about, I’m leaving you with my Top 5 “Remainder” Ideas. These are just a few of the many ideas I’d jotted down in the past but decided weren’t worth fleshing out into full posts for one reason or another. Since they will probably remain that way, I figure they’re better off posted here than wallowing in obscurity. It may be more obvious why some never made it to full posts than others.

Remainder Idea #5: Bring back the Ford Prefect

I had this thought one day that Ford could make it big with Science Fiction fans by introducing a new car in its defunct Prefect product line. Then I actually looked at the old Ford Prefects, and wondered if maybe there was a good reason the Ford Prefects aren’t around anymore. I don’t know how you’d give that old car a modern feel.

Remainder Idea #4: The World’s Mildest Salsa

Salsa companies always brag that they have the world’s hottest salsa. But what about people who just want flavor? Why doesn’t anybody market a product as the world’s mildest salsa? I think there’s a missed opportunity here.

Remainder Idea #3: “The Short Con”

In the con artist’s world, a “long con” is a term referring to an elaborate and drawn out scam where the victim actually hands over his money repeatedly, going back to the ATM (or his home, or office) for more and more money. A “short con” refers to a quick scam where the goal is simply to get whatever money the victim has at the moment. Well, I thought “The Short Con” would make a great name for a movie about a con artist who happens to be really short, and who specializes in short cons. Somehow, he gets involved in a long con. Naturally, he would be played by Danny DeVito. I didn’t get much further than that.

Remainder Idea #2: My Amazon “Don’t buy me this” List

On Amazon.com, you can create a Wish List of items you want, and rank them by priority so people know what to get you for your birthday. Not long ago, the lowest ranking you could give an item was labeled “Don’t buy me this.” I wondered why on Earth anybody would bother putting something on their “Wish” list and then rank it “Don’t buy me this.” So I put together a whole list of only things I didn’t want people to buy me on Amazon, and ranked them as “Don’t buy me this.” I don’t remember what was on the list anymore except for a few things like some earrings that looked like chewed gum, a talking Ann Coulter doll (for which my comment was something like, “I’d rather have a bag of dirt”), and an actual bag of dirt. Shortly after I put together my list, Amazon changed the Wish Lists so the lowest priority rank no longer says “Don’t buy me this.” It just says “lowest.” And then my list wasn’t funny anymore. To the contrary, it suggested that I kinda wanted a talking Ann Coulter doll and a bag of dirt, but just a little bit.

Remainder Idea #1: Webstr

This was my idea for a Web 2.0 site for people who want to adopt orphan sit-com boys (the one for adopting orphan sit-com girls is called PunkyBrewstr of course, and they’re both in perpetual beta). I even went so far as to make a Webstr logo, using the old Webster TV show font in Flickr logo colors. But then I decided it wasn’t funny enough, and I set it aside until I could come up with a better idea for what a Web 2.0 site called Webstr would be. That never happened.

Interesting note: While working on Webstr, I realized that adopted kids were a big theme in 80s sit-coms. Punky Brewster was adopted. Webster was adopted. Arnold and Willis were adopted. Ricky Stratton was adopted. Well, reunited with his long lost father, anyway. Close, though. Any others?

Bonus remainder idea: The Top 10 Reasons Phil Donahue Should Be President

One day I realized that I think Phil Donahue is a pretty level-headed guy and I mostly agree with his politics. I thought it would be funny to put together a list of the Top Ten Reasons he should be President. Unfortunately, I only thought of one, and it’s probably only funny to hardcore Phil Donahue fans, and that’s not enough for a good post. So let’s just pretend I’ve come up with 10 reasons, and you’ve just read reasons 10 through 2, and they were very funny, so I can go ahead and tell you the one funny reason I came up with. Ready? “And the Number 1 reason why Phil Donahue should be President is…. That First Lady!”

See you all in a couple weeks!


Great post David. Have a great trip and enjoy your time offline.

That is a great reason (and funny). If I didn’t have to get to work in an hour I’d list dozens of reasons for Phil to be President, beginning with he’d start by re-Constituting our Constitution. Thanks!

Enjoy the islands. Watch out for evolving turtles. Try to save all the cleverness for us, no fair wasting it on strangers.

Danny DeVito famously refuses to take “short” parts. So I think you’d have to either go with someone like Peter Dinklage, or else someone like Matthew McGrory made to look small using the sort of camera angles and oversized props employed in Lord of the Rings.

There was an NPR “This American Life” show a few weeks ago - I think - that had a story about how every kid in the 80’s wanted to be a orphan because of all the sitcomes. Here’s a link: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1184

I thought Webstr was a Web 2.0 place where people invented their own spelling and posted them Wiki-style and they got voted on ala Urban Dictionary.

The Ford Prefect was an adorable car!

Unfortunately, VW Beetle excepted, adorable is not really a selling-point for cars these days.

Which is a shame!

I like the look of the Prefect, although not the truck one. Of course, I always wanted a Checker Cab.

I think #4 is called Ketchup.

I love #2, I hope they will bring that back.

you forgot about “My Two Dads,” an 80’s classic. Looking back at that show is a little strange now that DNA testing is in wide usage…woulda been a whole different show in a more recent decade!

Natalie on Facts of Life was adopted too! I think you and NPR are on to something…